While launching rockets is cool, the current job of rockets is to launch satellites and probes that send and receive scientific information about outer space. Visiting the Stanford Radio Telescope (the Dish) in July of 2010 helped club members understand how important communication is, as we send and receive messages from satellites and probes. During the field trip, all A.T.O.M. Science Club members had chance to actually turn the Dish themselves!
Our tour guide, Michael Cousins, principal engineer in the Engineering and Systems Division, was involved with Pioneer 1, the first spacecraft launched by NASA in 1958. He has been involved with radio telescopes for the past 40 years.